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18 January 2010

Chemical Ali: good riddance!

Saddam's murderous cousin sentenced to death

By Mehdi Hasan

From the Guardian website:

One of Saddam Hussein’s most loathed henchman, Ali Hassan al-Majid, otherwise known as Chemical Ali, will be hanged within days, a senior official said tonight, setting the scene for Iraq’s highest-profile execution since Saddam himself was put to death more than three years ago.

The former spy chief and first cousin of Saddam was today sentenced to death for ordering the slaughter of more than 5,000 Kurds in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja with chemical weapons in 1988.

It was the fourth death sentence the 68-year-old has received for atrocities committed during the brutal three-decade reign of the Ba’athists. Iraq’s deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim, said Majid’s execution was now imminent.

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My view? It couldn’t happen to a nicer man.

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I know many liberals and lefties may disagree with me on this one, but I happen to believe there are individuals who are so evil, so beyond redemption, who commit crimes so barbaric and heinous, that they deserve the death penalty. If “Chemical Ali” isn’t one of them, then I don’t know who is. This is the man who, after all, bragged to his colleagues:

I will kill them all [the Kurds] with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them!

The Iraq war has been a disaster — for Iraqis, for the region and for the wider world. But those of us who opposed the war should perhaps acknowledge that the bringing to justice of Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein, Ali Hassan al-Majid and the rest has been one of the few positive side effects of a bloody and botched invasion that has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.